Friday, April 21, 2006

Shoes: Glamorous drag queens

Glamour is a specialised form of shoemaking when the customer takes large sizes. Drag queens love exotic shoes and when it comes to heels they are often as large as can be without being impossible to perform on stage and in the business these are known as staggerers.

Platforms re-emerged in the 70s with glitter rock before they became synonymous with Disco. Elton John had hundreds of platforms in his stage wardrobe. Never the shrinking violet he mirrored his hero Liberace with a myriad of ostentatious costume.

Contemporary glitterati like Rod Stewart, Marc Bolan and the New York Dolls, all took to wearing platform shoes to a new aesthetic level. As long as they looked taller and were able to strut their stuff the stage then anything went.

Reggie Dwight had a hidden reason for his platforms he needed the extra height to lurch across his Steinway to reach the microphone. The glamorous fashions of the 70s were a retro style harping back to the zenith of Hollywood. Tantrums and temperamental stars were well matched then.

Jean Harlow completely wrecked her designer boudoir when a pair of lavender shoes with rhinestone heels did not measure up to her expectations.

Gloria Swanson loved her heels and wore shoes made with corkscrew heels studded with imitation pearls.

Crurofile (ankle fetishist) D W Griffiths sponsored a beauty contest for feet and ankles with the first prize a 6 month film contract. The runner up was a pretty girl trying to break into the industry. Her name was Joan Crawford and her prize, a pair of made to measure shoes.

Greta Garbo was reputed to have a large pair of feet and never would buy one pair when she could purchase seventy pairs at a time. Madonna eat your heart out.

Reviewed 30/01/2017

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